It is a beautiful thing, to live a year gone by.
I was just looking at some of my entries from study abroad, from just a few months after this time last year. In so many ways, I’ve forgotten what I knew. The peace that overwhelms all of it has grown greater, and the ripple effects of feeling so completely severed off from any prior sense of knowing surface now as a kind of resilience that gives me pause to write, and is pretty uninhibited to speak of. Words are powerful, but I get the feeling that mine are so much more powerful in person. I think that you can know some people fairly well by the words they choose, and others not so much. But I think that in general, I care to have people meet me and see the aspects of myself that God makes them circumstantially privy to.
We all have such beautiful gifts. It is strange to come across older thoughts that once seemed new; it’s a poignant kind of relapse. The little thought clusters I had discredited in fear and self-condemnation in coming home have now found their own cyclical re-home. It seems that almost a year since I left, I have come home to a stronger home than I could have ever imagined, through all that darkness that once weighed me down. My soul is light, and so is the yoke I have been given. I gain strength spending time with the Lord. The most beautiful thing is the ability to give him praise for all that he has done for me, and know that his blessing is the one that endures.
We all have these magnificent dreams, if we dare to dream them. Sitting here, redoing my resume for probably the 9th time since I left high school, I try to make sense of the enormous things God has delivered unto me. Modest financial stability. Trust. Confidence. A self-awareness and endurance that only grows in the light of the Holy Spirit. Understanding for all kinds of people. Love. The greatest is the last, and it is peace to be able to look over all that I have known in only 2 and a half years since starting college, and to have peace over the journey while I still wait to graduate. It is blessed to know that I am so well provided for.
The greatest gifts I could never ask for have been given to me. The ability to not put words on wounds. I may chitter chatter around, but it is a unique thing to be fully capable of silence when asked. Dear God, all of these things that I thought simply weren’t in the picture, until I stepped back and dared to look again. Perspective. The most beautiful thing that comes with the passing of time, other than understanding, is the understanding that the blessing and hand of God was over all of it.
As I fill out applications for the future, as I formulate new questions and second guess the wording I used to derive my pride from, resume writing seems rather precarious. There is so much temptation to take credit for what is not mine. I can boast of what I lived but have never fully understood (nor can I), or I can give all credit and glory to the one that designed it all. It can be rough, because it seems like professionalism hinges directly on how much of a fuss you would like to attribute to yourself. I have all the language that I need to frame myself in whatever angle I like, and unfortunately, given ego, some of that is inevitable. Arrogance is a constant fear, and sometimes, it is certainly evident. At the same time, I wonder if it is possible to do any real good if you do not value the means to do it. Can the Holy Spirit of God speak through you, if you don’t acknowledge that it might? Or worse, that it might not? Self-awareness is just a fancy word to describe the effects we can have on others, and if we don’t give credit to God in the words we choose, it all seems to disintegrate. Thank God for that.
It is a strange thing, to gain integrity. It just means fewer words. People will believe in the merit and the compassion behind what you say. It seems like reputation isn’t such daggers. In all the time I have worried about that very thing, it seems that I only remembered the fear. Talking with friends, who have also matured years later, it’s almost as if our vision of the world has become clearer. Although children are certainly more transparent than adults, I doubt that they are any more or less holy. We have the worst memories for ourselves, and whether or not that is a good or a bad thing feels vaguely irrelevant. I would pray that it could be good, and justified through God. Apart from that, I hardly care.
My friends have such beautiful accomplishments that we all are learning to take pride in. We are so young. But they do so many things very well, and it seems like right now in junior year, the knowing that we each have been growing is meant to make each of us stronger. All we need is the calm and consistent reminder that just a few people truly love us, when those storms come to call. That love, like all love, comes from God. To encourage my friends is the same as to be fully myself, because I can’t really be all the way myself without them. There are too many things that have been accumulated through the process of memory and living passionately. We know too much. We love too much. It’s too great a knowing to deny it.
As I walk around campus, I often wonder if it is fair to speak cryptically, to leave my thoughts un-edited. To me, speaking in sentence fragments, rambling for the sake of externally processing, and simply having the presence or appearance of company is comforting. It isn’t necessary. But there is something distinctly human in the repetition of almost-interaction. If I speak cryptically, I notice that few people take the time to understand what I say. That makes sense. It is a very true thing. It fascinates me, even as I take the privilege of saying fewer words. If the words I choose can have such an enormous impact, if they can start fires and put them out, change tires and the world, could it be that I can’t claim full ownership of all that they possess? Is it my fault if you misinterpret what I might say?
The Holy Spirit isn’t just words. That is the difference, I think. 1st Corinthians 13 speaks to this, clarifying that the love a person demonstrates and calls to guide their life is so much more than any kind of knowing or life. Love changes us. It heals and repairs us. The Holy Spirit is the blessed culprit in all of it, but to be able to speak of God with the words that he devised, to know how to share the gospel, to have the words that praising takes, that is a gift. But the gift that is above all gifts already came, and all of those words just describe him.
So much of the not-so-recent past, I have been trapped in this cycle of second guessing the presence of goodness in my life. I am not sure that will ever fully leave, but even if it doesn’t, it is a blessing to know goodness. I second guess all these beautiful details, not because I don’t know them, but because they are just too good to be true. Funny how even in that small smattering of words, we separate the truth from the good.
Well, the truth is good. I have the rest of existence to be around it. If it gets all that much better than this, I guess we’ll find out together.